Visitation Rights and Dogs

Edgington has been to the animal center three times. She was allowed to see her dogs for 15 minutes on her first visit. She was turned away a second time by an employee who said they were short-staffed and could not take her to the restricted area. Another employee told her during that trip that she was not allowed to have contact with her dogs, she said.

But on Tuesday, she was allowed to see all 19 dogs in their climate-controlled cages, and was even asked if she wanted to take a couple of them out, one at a time, to play with them. She took the oldest, White Fang, out to play, then decided the others might get jealous, so she declined the second offer. The dogs looked fine, and had put on their winter coats, she said.

As soon as she walked into their area, the dogs barked, jumped and shoved their noses and paws up against the chain link fence.

“I know they must be lonely, because I’m lonely,” Edgington said. “I hope I get my dogs back. I didn’t mean to drag attorneys into it, but they didn’t give me any choice. I tried working with them.”

Edgington said she has had most of the dogs since the day they were born. Her pack had its beginning when White Fang was abandoned at a flea market and she decided to take care of her. Then she came across another abandoned dog and took her in, and days later that dog had 10 puppies. Her family kept growing from there.

“I love those dogs very much, and it makes me cry,” Edgington said. “I miss my babies.”

On Friday, Marion County filed a countersuit against Edgington in order to determine the future of the dogs.

The county maintains that she had abandoned the animals, that they were not properly cared for, and that they might not ever be cared for properly. Among the problems were mange, and some were said to be very thin. The county also is demanding that it be paid.

“What the county is trying to do is declare that the dogs be euthanized,” said Gordon Johnston, car accident lawyer.

Johnston said depending on the court order, a judge will decide if the dogs are to be destroyed, and if so, when.

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